Saturday, July 23, 2011
Numbers: Nelson Cruz's pitch selection
By Richard Durrett
ESPN Stats & Information analyzed Nelson Cruz's memorable 4-for-4 performance with a whopping eight RBIs. Cruz got all four hits on just six pitches the entire game. Here's a closer look:
* Cruz hit his fourth-inning home run off a Jo-Jo Reyes slider, the sixth time he has homered off a slider this season, which is tied for the second most in the majors.
Home Runs off Sliders (2011 season):
Jose Bautista 7
Robinson Cano 6
Nelson Cruz 6
Adam Lind 6
* His double was on an 89 mph fastball that was off the plate inside. Cruz has nine hits this season on fastballs outside the strike zone, but this was his first extra-base knock. Cruz did homer back in April on an inside cutter from Jon Lester that was actually faster than the fastball that Jo-Jo Reyes served up Friday.
* His two singles, meanwhile, came on nearly identical sinkers from Toronto reliever Shawn Camp. Both were slightly below center and over the outer third of the plate; one was 88 mph and the other 90. The two hits on sinkers doubled Cruz' total for the season against that pitch.